VR training system for acquisition of surgical skills

Open access Virtual Reality Training System for Anytime/Anywhere Acquisition of Surgical Skills: A Pilot Study, by Zahiri et al. Military Medicine (2018) 183(suppl_1):86–91.


This article presents a hardware/software simulation environment suitable for anytime/anywhere surgical skills training. It blends the advantages of physical hardware and task analogs with the flexibility of virtual environments. This is further enhanced by a web-based implementation of training feedback accessible to both trainees and trainers. Our training system provides a self-paced and interactive means to attain proficiency in basic tasks that could potentially be applied across a spectrum of trainees from first responder field medical personnel to physicians. This results in a powerful training tool for surgical skills acquisition relevant to helping injured warfighters.

Virtual surgery simulation versus traditional approaches in training of residents in cervical pedicle screw placement


Virtual surgery simulation versus traditional approaches in training of residents in cervical pedicle screw placement, by Hou et al. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg (2018).


The cervical screw placement is one of the most difficult procedures in spine surgery, which often needs a long period of repeated practices and could cause screw placement-related complications. We performed this cadaver study to investigate the effectiveness of virtual surgical training system (VSTS) on cervical pedicle screw instrumentation for residents.

Materials and methods
A total of ten novice residents were randomly assigned to two groups: the simulation training (ST) group (n = 5) and control group (n = 5). The ST group received a surgical training of cervical pedicle screw placement on VSTS and the control group was given an introductory teaching session before cadaver test. Ten fresh adult spine specimens including 6 males and 4 females were collected, and were randomly allocated to the two groups. The bilateral C3–C6 pedicle screw instrumentation was performed in the specimens of the two groups, respectively. After instrumentation, screw positions of the two groups were evaluated by image examinations.

There was significantly statistical difference in screw penetration rates between the ST (10%) and control group (62.5%, P < 0.05). The acceptable rates of screws were 100 and 50% in the ST and control groups with significant difference between each other (P < 0.05). In addition, the average screw penetration distance in the ST group (1.12 ± 0.47 mm) was significantly lower than the control group (2.08 ± 0.39 mm, P < 0.05). Conclusions This study demonstrated that the VSTS as an advanced training tool exhibited promising effects on improving performance of novice residents in cervical pedicle screw placement compared with the traditional teaching methods.